[ExI] Should the US Have a Military Presence in Space?

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Mon Jun 25 15:56:02 UTC 2018

The Air Force doesn't build its own planes, missiles, or any of that.  I
fail to see what a Space Force would actually build that the Air Force does
not now build.  (Small test satellites, maybe.  Large satellites or
spacecraft, or launch vehicles, no.)

On Mon, Jun 25, 2018, 8:45 AM <spike at rainier66.com> wrote:

> My theory on what this is really about:
> When I was working for one of the aerospace majors, I was a subsystem tech
> lead.  When a subsystem was ready and all the tests were done and passed,
> we would have a meeting called a buy-off, where we (the tech leads) would
> present the data to the customer and have him go over the paperwork, see
> that you had done all the tests and gotten all the numbers you need, inside
> the tolerance window.  My area was tech performance only (so we didn't talk
> money there, only performance of the subsystem (after I was finished, the
> program manager would take over (I could leave if I wished (I wished.))
> In my buy-off there were usually about 6 yo 8 guys: my program manager,
> the company VP, I could bring in one of my tech team if I needed him (I
> didn't) and usually about 3 to 5 customer types: my tech lead counterpart,
> my program manager's counterpart, sometimes a scribe if necessary, a
> quality assurance guy, sometimes the customer's big boss would show, but
> that was it.  We would have a small meeting, my part would take about hour
> (or less if the subsystem was really a shining star in test) then the
> papers would be signed, hands would be shook and see ya again in 10 to 20
> months, no worries.
> In 2009 everything changed.  I heard we were to meet in this other 100
> seat conference room, so just put the data in PowerPoint and don't worry
> about paper copies of everything (?) just the PowerPoint.  Before we would
> do everything on a tabletop on paper, but now we were to project it (?) and
> talk (?) to the customer.
> I get down there and there are about 70 people in the room.  Huh?  Who are
> all these people?  Why do we need 70 people in the room to do a routine
> buy-off?
> But my job isn't to ask questions, it's to answer them.  So I did.  That
> subsystem was our best ever, the numbers would make any father proud.  So
> the buy-off was great fun, and they bought the system, but I still didn't
> know who all those people were and why they were.
> This sudden change created an unexpected heartburn for several of the
> other tech leads: they weren't accustomed to public speaking.  I didn't
> have any problem with it, but some of the others did.  They would get
> tongue-tied, even the smartest ones.  Heh.
> I noticed something about the crowd later at the after-event dinner: they
> seemed young (many in their 20s and 30s) and the way they dressed and
> carried themselves.  After watching all this, it occurred to me that the
> crowd I had addressed were probably military ossifers.  I have been around
> that type enough to notice they treat each other with respect, they treat
> everyone they meet with a certain formality and decorum, they carry
> themselves a certain way.  Tattoos and piercings will not be seen.  Edgy
> tee-shirts, even at a picnic, will not be seen there.  Go to any event
> where military ossifers hang out, you will immediately see what I am
> talking about.
> My conclusion: about in 2009, the military decided it wanted to have its
> own people doing a lot of what the aerospace biggies had been doing for
> decades.  And why not have the military do it?  Why not have the military
> people building all its own stuff?  Why do we need aerospace companies
> doing that?
> spike
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